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News & Views Monday 28th September to Sunday 4th October 2015

Flight Attendant Sues G4S After Witnessing Death of Jimmy Mubenga
Former British Airways flight attendant is suing G4S for more than £100,000 after witnessing the death of Jimmy Mubenga, a deportee who suffocated while being restrained by security guards employed by the firm. Louise Graham, a former BA purser, told Central London county court she was “left in pieces” after watching the three G4S guards grapple with Mubenga as he let out “harrowing howls” before he fell silent. Graham, 54, who left the airline due to the incident after more than 20 years in the industry, is now suing G4S after she had a “mental breakdown”. G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd said she was too far removed from the tragic sequence of events to be entitled to sue.
Read more: Jamie Grierson, Guardian, 30/09/2015

Nigerian Care Workers to be Deported After Immigration Raids
Dozens of Nigerian care workers have been arrested in immigration raids across London and are being held at various removal centres. They have been told they will be forcibly removed from the UK on a charter flight on Tuesday. The care worker were arrested for allegedly overstaying their visas. Some had worked for more than a decade and say they are distraught at the prospect of leaving behind many elderly and vulnerable people they have forged close bonds with.

Some of those being held were working for a large company called Mears Group, which provides staff to care for elderly and disabled people. The Home Office confirmed that on 7 and 8 Septemberimmigration enforcement officers conducted simultaneous raids at residential addresses across London. Thirty-four care workers were arrested and detained while another 21 were served with immigration documents and placed on temporary release.

A Home Office spokesman said: “This intelligence-led operation was conducted in response to allegations that foreign nationals have been using forged documentation to gain employment illegally as carers.”
Many of the detained workers are being held in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire. One said: “We are getting all kinds of phonecalls and messages from the people we have been looking after for many years asking us what has happened to us and when we are going to go back to look after them. We know our clients so well – how they like their cups of tea, what their favourite clothes are. But now we’ve lost our clients and our clients have lost us.”
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, 28/09/2015

£33,437.65 A Year to Keep a Person Detained in an IRC

In a statement from James Brokenshire on the cost of daily detention for an immigration detainee, he replied £91.61 pound per day, that works out at £33,437.65 per year.
Page 97 Hansard, 25/09/2015

"Safe Countries of Origin": A Safe Concept?
The “safe country of origin” notion presents substantial conceptual and procedural risks. The criteria and definition thereof in the Asylum Procedures Directive should be cautiously read, given that their reference to a “general and systematic” lack of persecution or serious harm seems to contradict the Refugee Convention’s purpose of protecting those who may face individual risks in their home countries for reasons related to their particular personal characteristics.

 Moreover, the way in which Member States conduct safety assessments with regard to countries of origin is far from homogenous in practice. Against that backdrop, the Commission proposal for a common EU list runs the risk of triggering a ‘race to the bottom’ in restrictive rules in the asylum procedure. Criteria such as the general ECtHR figures on rulings finding violations, the Copenhagen conditions for EU accession, or even the number of national lists comprising a particular country, in no way constitute evidence that the safety criteria in Annex I to the recast Asylum Procedures Directive are met. Finally, recognition rates for ostensible “safe countries of origin” such as Albania and Turkey reveal a concerning discord between general presumptions of safety and the protection needs identified for the nationals of the countries concerned in practice.
 Given its conceptual ambiguity and far-reaching adverse procedural consequences for the individual asylum seeker, this remains an unsafe concept in asylum procedures.

AIDA Legal Briefing No. 3 September 2015


World Drug Problem Violates Human Rights in Five Key Areas
The global drug problem violates human rights in five key areas – the right to health, the rights relating to criminal justice and discrimination, the rights of the child and the rights of indigenous peoples, a senior United Nations official said today.  “It is clear that the world’s drug problem impacts the enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, often resulting in serious violations,” said Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is, nevertheless, a positive development that human rights are increasingly being taken into account in the preparations for the General Assembly’s Special Session on the world drug problem to be held in April 2016,” she said.
Read more: UN High Commission, 28/09/2015

Resistance is the Secret of Joy

We Shall Overcome

''Presentations and discussion on migrant and refugee solidarity, workplace union organising, the social strike, beyond austerity, from capitalism to red plenty, celebrating music & culture, supporting those hit by cuts!''

Leeds No Borders -
We Shall Overcome Weekend - October 3rd 
Traders Club, Holme Street, Hebdon Bridge, HX78EE. 
1pm to 5pm 

Aye to Refugees, Nae to Nazis'

1) Unite Against Fascism ‘Aye to Refugees, Nae to Nazis' counter demo against the Nazi Scottish Defence League, 1pm

Saturday Oct 3rd, The Mound, Edinburgh

On Saturday 3 October the racist and fascist Scottish Defence League (SDL) plan a protest to whip up racial hatred, Islamophobia and division around the issue of refugees and migrants seeking safe haven in Europe and Britain. The fascist SDL are attempting to exploit the appalling scaremongering stories in the press and to capitalise on the irresponsible language used by some politicians to dehumanise those fleeing war, famine and repression.

UAF Edinburgh has initiated a counter demonstration, 'Aye to Refugees - Nae to Nazis' to oppose the fascist SDL on October 3rd in Edinburgh. We are looking to build a broad mobilisation of trade unions, faith groups, civil right groups and refugee campaigns. We need to oppose the SDL and stand in solidarity with refugees and migrants.

The City of Edinburgh Council have refused the Nazi Scottish Defence League permission to march, however the SDL will still go ahead with a static demonstration and the counter protest against the Nazis SDL is still going ahead. Assembling

2) Refugees Are Welcome Public Meeting, 7pm Tuesday 29th September, Glasgow University. Called by STUC, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees & others

EU Commission Cracks Down on Countries  Breaching Asylum Rules
“The European Commission cracked down on 19 EU countries on Wednesday 23rd September for incorrectly implementing asylum rules, launching punitive actions that could eventually lead to fines. Our common European asylum system can only function if everyone plays by the rules,” commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said in a statement. Today's 40 infringement proceedings are meant to ensure that member states actually implement and apply what they had previously agreed to do," he added.

The only countries to escape unscathed were Croatia, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia.Britain, Denmark and Ireland have exemptions that do not require them to implement all EU rules. Italy did not have action taken against it on Wednesday, but has been asked for clarifications in the past."
Read more:, 25/09/2015

Last updated 1 October, 2015